The pop/singer-songwriter, Shayna Leigh, is currently on the road with Sister Hazel, supporting them on their winter tour. While she’s on this tour, she will be doing an exclusive blog for our site. You can check out her first entry, after the break.
I just finished my first week of tour with SISTER HAZEL! Here’s what I discovered:
There is NOTHING like the lessons you will learn on tour. Literally ANYTHING can happen and it often does. As a person leading her own band, it is in a lot of ways solely my responsibility to get us from one place to another ON TIME… in traffic, snow, rain, and the generalized exhaustion that only comes from driving 5 plus hours every day. (I have to say, I have the BEST BAND EVER and I don’t have to do the driving and they helped me with literally every issue that came up every step of the way.)
I figured the best way to do a tour recap is simply to tell you the most profound lesson I learned with each show.
WORLD CAFÉ LIVE- PHILADELPHIA, PA
I have worked really hard to make my live show the best that it can be- to give the audience the fullest, most exciting sound I can! I’ve added a lot to my set up. First, we have a brand new guitarist. I have also started running tracks while we play live and using in-ear monitors (both of which are very complicated additions- though I won’t bore you with the details!) In any case, here’s what I discovered that night: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO ON STAGE LIVE and WHEN THE COMPLICATED THINGS GO RIGHT, THE SIMPLE THINGS CAN STILL GO WRONG! Basically, the tracks were perfect. Tory, the brand new musician, was amazing (As were Matsu and Mark). I fell in love with my ear monitors. But at some point, I managed to pull the chord out of the microphone in the middle of a song… a pretty rookie mistake if I do say so myself. I recovered quickly, and nothing was really lost (in fact, I find that my little faux pas onstage give me lots of opportunities to make self-deprecating jokes, as I love to do) but still it is a good reminder of the hazards of live performance
THE PARADISE- BOSTON, MA
This lesson was really easy. PACK SNACKS/EAT ON THE ROAD. We had a long drive from New York to Boston. The plan was to go to the hotel to drop our bags and grab a bite to eat before heading to the venue for sound check. We were great on time… until we got to Boston. Then we were in traffic. Long story short I didn’t have time to grab food before the show… luckily I had a protein bar.
Also this show was the first time pretty much the entire audience to sang along to my cover song. I learned the following: THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN THIS. There is no better feeling in the world, as far as I am concerned, than engaging with an audience.
THE FLYING MONKEY- PLYMOUTH, NH
This venue was a theatre. I grew up performing in theatres. I cannot even describe the wave of nostalgia I felt as I walked in… The lesson here is simple. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Your past made you who you are. It will always be with you.
THE INFINITY MUSIC HALL- HARTFORD, CT
This one should be self explanatory. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ADDRESSES. AND IF YOU DON’T DO THAT, BE REALLLY REALLYY EARLY. Basically, there are two venues called the Infinity Hall in CT, one in Norfolk and one in Hartford. We didn’t discover this until long after we arrived at what thought was our venue (reallllly really early)… Because of said punctuality, we had a leisurely lunch (which included dessert and a rousing game of hangman) before heading to the Infinity to load in. We walked in and saw a band (NOT SISTER HAZEL!) setting up on stage. Somehow we had the wrong address on our tour itinerary!! And somehow not one of us noticed!!! Luckily, the venues were just about an hour apart and we were so early initially that we apparently got there exactly on time so no one was the wiser. From now on, I will ALWAYS double check everything. Probably for the rest of my life.
I’ve learned a lot, probably not nearly enough though! Luckily, I still have next week on the road in the Midwest! I’ve gotten a taste of touring, and I am totally ready for the next adventure!